Too Few Women Head Federations

Knesset Committee Told Most Groups Dominated by Men

By Haaretz

Published February 10, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A special Knesset subcommittee is eliciting candid assessments about the role of women in Jewish community life, while posing searing questions about the relative lack of women in Jewish leadership roles.

Some 10 presenters from leading organizations in Israel and North America addressed a special subcommittee of the Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee during a 90-minute session Tuesday, chaired by MK Dr. Einat Wilf (Atzmaut).

“Is the glass half empty or full?” asked Shifra Bronznick, founding president of the New York City-based Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community, who addressed the subcommittee for Relations of Israel with World Jewish Communities.

Bronznick mapped female leadership positions according to what she called “spheres” - start-ups, the rabbinate, Jewish media and social justice organizations. “Many more women lead these organizations, and we are seeing a bifurcation between these groups and the veteran agencies of Jewish life,” said Bronznick.

Wilf - who noted in her opening remarks “that there are more Jewish women in the United States Supreme Court than in the leadership of major Jewish Federations” - was quickly corrected.

Both Bronznick and Gail Norry, chairwoman of the National Women’s Philanthropy of Jewish Federation of North America, cited two women who now serve as CEOs of large-city Jewish Federations: Deborah Corber in Montreal, Canada; and Jennifer Gorovitz in San Francisco, California. Of the 157 Jewish Federations, 50 have female executives, according to Norry.

Nadia Ellis, an associate fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute, presented a range of data demonstrating that a lack of parity in Jewish leadership of Jewish organizations abroad is comparable to the absence of women in the highest echelons of Israeli and American society in general. “We believe that Israel has to set the example and stand for the values that it expects Jewish organizations to adopt,” she said.

For more, go to Haaretz.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.